Stacy Rowles once wrote a note to her father, pianist and composer Jimmy Rowles, stating: Dear Dad, if you buy me a flugelhorn, I'll play the [expletive] out of it. Indeed she did, and she picked up singing, as well. A longtime mainstay on the Los Angeles jazz scene, she worked with the all-female quintet the Jazzbirds, led by the late multi-instrumentalist Betty O'Hara, as well as the Jazz Tap Ensemble and the DIVA Big Band.
Father and daughter initially worked together on instrumental arrangements, and after he began arranging for voice and doing some singing himself, she followed suit.
Despite her father's example, she was not attracted to the instrument. She eventually tried an old trumpet that was in the Rowles house and immediately took to it. The vibraphonist and teacher Charlie Shoemake, with whom she studied for a time, told me today, Stacy was a natural talent. She listened to the right people, and her ear took her to the right places.
Ms. Rowles and her father co-led a group in Los Angeles for a time in the early 1990s. She recorded three albums with him. They included Me And The Moon, which featured her on flugelhorn and as a singer. Jimmy Rowles died in 1996.
Excellent trumpeter/flugelhornist and occasional vocalist, Stacy Rowles sadly passed away at age 54 on October 30th. She had been severely injured in an auto accident two weeks earlier. A highly respected musician, she had made her mark in the jazz community in Los Angeles’ region for many years. Stacy’s father was the legendary pianist and composer Jimmy Rowles, and she followed in her father’s footsteps, which was constantly evident in her musical performing.
Quoting from Stacy’s website (www.stacyrowles.com): “Jimmy Rowles probably didn’t anticipate that his daughter would choose to become one of the rare female trumpet- flugelhorn players, but their performances together afforded rare and memorable jazz pleasures. Rowles’ flugelhorn playing, even more than her trumpet work, combines a warm, often sensuous sound with briskly swinging, melodically based improvisations. Although she is better known as an instrumentalist, her warm-toned vocals move confidently from sweet intimate balladry to in-the-pocket, swinging grooves. And watching Stacy Rowles in action, masterfully displaying her craft, one could easily imagine Jimmy Rowles, somewhere, listening to the set and smiling proudly.”
Stacy Rowles first performed as teenager with her father at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Among her other performance credits, she had been a member of Ann Patterson’s Maiden Voyage Band, the all-woman quintet Jazzbirds, the Jazz Tap Ensemble, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the DIVA Big Band. With her father, she recorded Looking Back (Delos) and Me and the Moon (AJS Recordings), among others. In 2004, she released Tell It Like It Is (Concord Jazz).
Me and the Moon
(AJS Recordings), among others.
Tell It Like It Is
(Concord Jazz) 2004
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